Tag Archives: trademarks

It is widely known that China has been the source of cyber attacks against public and private entities in the United States. The nature and effectiveness of these attacks are of considerable concern. According to one estimate, cyber theft by the Chinese has cost the U.S. economy more than $300 billion annually taking into account […]

Trademarks may reside in families.  A family of marks is a group of trademarks that have a recognizable common characteristic.  For example, you may recall that Eastman Kodak owned trademarks for KODACOLOR, KODAMATIC, and KODACHROME, the term “Koda” being the common element of all three trademarks.  A family of marks is established when the purchasing […]

In 2013, we wrote about the branding wars between candy bar makers.  These disputes are good measure of the boundaries between 3-D trademarks that have acquired distinctiveness (registrable) and those that are functional (not registrable). In 2006, Nestlé was granted trademark rights in the “distinctive” shape of its KitKat bar in various European countries.  But […]

The distinctive smell of Play-Doh evokes memories of many happy hours of childhood play, those of my children and mine. Perhaps, if you played with the colored “doh,” you probably share similar nostalgia.  Hasbro has been making Play-Doh since the 1950’s and its distinct odor is not natural but a fragrance that Hasboro added to […]

Marijuana has become big business. We never thought it would happen but now  29 U.S. states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana and eight states have legalized pot for recreational use. But alas, federal law, still classifies cannabis as a Schedule I controlled substance under the Controlled Substances Act meaning that cannabis […]

Dear Doc: At times, you write about copyrights. At other times, you write about patents, trademarks, trade secrets, and other legal mumbo-jumbo. I’m confused. What’s all of that got to do with intellectual property? Signed, Inquiring Client   Dear Inqy: Back in the dark ages, when the Doc passed the bar, things were pretty clear. […]